Modifying a Child Custody Order in Virginia

Posted on Jul 12, 2013 by Katie Carter

At some point following your divorce, you may consider modifying a Virginia child custody order. There are several reasons for this but mainly the necessity is based on a change in circumstances.

Children grow older and may face new challenges and opportunities. Parents may experience changes in their personal lives and finances. The circumstances that influenced the original custody order may no longer be in play several years following the divorce.

For example, a child may develop special needs that would be better served by the non-custodial parent, or one parent may gain more financial independence and be in a better position to provide for a child than he or she was at the time of the divorce.

Modifying a Virginia child custody order involves filing the appropriate paperwork with the court. The parent filing for the modification must prove the suggested modification is necessary for the physical and/or emotional health of the child.

It isn’t always easy modifying a Virginia child custody order. It’s not something that can or should be done casually or as a way for parents to try and spite one another.

Stability rather than change tends to be better for children, so Virginia courts do not change custody orders without good cause. If there is significant evidence a change would be beneficial, or the current arrangement is detrimental, the court will consider modifying the Virginia child custody order.

There are certainly situations in which modifying a Virginia child custody order would be wise. If you feel pursuing a modification would be best in your situation, you should seek the guidance of a Virginia family law attorney.